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What BOOK(s) are you reading?

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22 Oct 2019 10:11 #302648 by Joebot

barrowdown wrote: I finished
I also read The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell based on my brother's recommendation. I have not read Cornwell, but I though it was a fairly engaging historical fiction with a lot of ties to actual history. I am curious to read the rest of the series, which I have because my brother dropped off a box of books last time he visited.


I think I'm up to book 7 in that series. They're all fantastic. The TV adaptation on Netflix is also worth checking out. The cast is excellent.

I will say that the books start to get a little repetitive, as yet ANOTHER Dane warlord rises to power and threatens Alfred's kingdom, but it doesn't matter, because they're just so well done. Uhtred is a great protagonist, as he continues to do stupid, rash, hilarious things out of anger and spite. He does get a little Forest Gump-ish, in that he's seemingly present and responsible for all the major battles in this time period, but again, it doesn't much matter. It's historical FICTION. And nobody is better at this shit than Bernard Cornwell.
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22 Oct 2019 12:15 - 22 Oct 2019 12:16 #302654 by Not Sure

Gary Sax wrote: Just finished The Last Mughal. Highly recommended. His ability to paint a portrait of this polyglot premodern place (Mughal Delhi), pre-nationalism, is breathtaking. And then to watch it all fall apart... it imparts the sense of civilizational sadness while still acknowledging the ways in which it was all fucked up.


I've been really interested in Dalrymple's new book on the East India Company as well. Return of a King was great, but Last Mughal hasn't made it to the top of the stack yet for me.

He's got a great knack for writing readable history.
Last edit: 22 Oct 2019 12:16 by Not Sure.

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22 Oct 2019 12:18 - 22 Oct 2019 12:18 #302656 by Gary Sax
^me too!

His use of primary sources in-text is, to me, out of this world. He's also so careful that primary sources do not only center on European accounts.
Last edit: 22 Oct 2019 12:18 by Gary Sax.

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01 Nov 2019 11:02 #303018 by DarthJoJo
Gene Wolfe’s Castleview. Well, it was the most approachable of all his novels I’ve read in that when things happened, I believed that they actually happened, not in that the characters ever acted in ways that I understood. Now I’m off to read Idylls of the King and Le Morte d’Arthur to find all the allusions I missed.

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02 Nov 2019 06:17 #303050 by ThirstyMan
Oooh, that reminds me, I recently bought a leather bound copy of Le Morte d'Arthur. Time to read it I think.

Currently reading The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat.
Picked it up for $2 hardback in England, in an antique shop.
What a great story teller. All about a new corvette on convoy duties across the Atlantic in 1940.

As soon as I'm done with this it will definitely be King Arthur.
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03 Nov 2019 23:08 #303072 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic What BOOK(s) are you reading?
Still reading MOBY DICK here. I have been working at this for like a year. It's so dense and so good. Here's a couple of alliterative gems from the last few chapters:

Having impulsively, it is probable, and perhaps somewhat prematurely revealed the prime but private purpose of the Pequod's voyage…

Now, with the subordinate phantoms, what wonder remained soon waned away; for in a whaler wonders soon wane.


Every page is like this; every sentence, practically. It's funny, and harrowing, and interesting, and amazing. I want more books to be like this.
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04 Nov 2019 08:49 #303080 by the_jake_1973

barrowdown wrote:
I also read The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell based on my brother's recommendation. I have not read Cornwell, but I though it was a fairly engaging historical fiction with a lot of ties to actual history. I am curious to read the rest of the series, which I have because my brother dropped off a box of books last time he visited.


If you like Cornwell, you may also want to expand into his Sharpe's Rifles series.

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04 Nov 2019 17:12 #303106 by Shellhead
I have not been reading any books lately, and feel badly about it. I did read a couple of books last summer, during the week when I was living in the basement while re-finishing the wood floor on the first floor. Otherwise, I have spent an unseemly amount of time watching tv and movies on the hi-def big screen tv that I bought last February. Last night, I forced myself to grab a short story collection off the shelf to read some stories, but I feel asleep during the introduction.
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08 Nov 2019 03:37 #303843 by KunalAdhikary
Palace of Illusions.

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08 Nov 2019 11:42 #303902 by quozl
Replied by quozl on topic What BOOK(s) are you reading?
I started the Icewind Dale trilogy by Salvatore this week. The one that introduced Drizzt. First book is so bad. Every hero character is overpowered and there is no chance any opposition will stop them. The villain is a moron (and purposefully so) and two heroes take on like 20 giants by themselves and only get a couple of scratches. It is so stupid. I have no idea how Drizzt became popular.
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08 Nov 2019 13:06 #303910 by Shellhead
Drizzt is a cheap imitation of Elric. By coincidence, I am reading a short story collection called Elric: Tales of the White Wolf, which was published by White Wolf Publishing (best known for their World of Darkness rpgs) in 1995. There are a few good stories, and several mediocre ones. One of the good ones is by Michael Moorcock himself, and another is from Neil Gaiman. The overall quality is okay, but nowhere near as good as the classic six-book Elric series that ended with Stormbringer. The setting had a major impact on both D&D and Games Workshops, introducing the concept of a conflict between Law and Chaos. Elric was originally conceived as an anti-Conan, a sickly albino sorcerer who relies on drugs and cursed sword to get him through adventures. Where Conan eventually rises to take a throne, Elric voluntarily gives up his own kingdom early on to wander the world and contemplate philosophy.
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08 Nov 2019 13:25 #303912 by Joebot

quozl wrote: I started the Icewind Dale trilogy by Salvatore this week. The one that introduced Drizzt. First book is so bad. Every hero character is overpowered and there is no chance any opposition will stop them. The villain is a moron (and purposefully so) and two heroes take on like 20 giants by themselves and only get a couple of scratches. It is so stupid. I have no idea how Drizzt became popular.


Oh wow. I haven't read that book in a million years. That bad, huh??

I still have that book somewhere, and I was thinking about reading it to my son (he's 10). We finished the first two Dragonlance Chronicles books, and he liked those. I hadn't read those books in many years either, but I have to say ... they're not bad. The characters are great, even if the world-building is pretty generic. Weis and Hickman also don't really sell the scale of this continent-spanning conflict, but I suppose you could argue that's nothing more than the backdrop to the adventures of this handful of characters.

My son hates Raistlin, which is just wrong. Maybe you have to be older, like a moody teenager, to really get Raistlin. He did like Sturm very much though, and was gutted at the end of Dragons of Winter Night. RIP, Sturm.

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08 Nov 2019 13:29 #303914 by quozl
Replied by quozl on topic What BOOK(s) are you reading?
I read the Dragonlance Chronicles a few months ago. They are pretty good, a lot better than I expected D&D fiction to be. This book is worse than I expected it to be. I didn't like Elric but at least it was written well. And Drizzt (at least in the first book) is nothing like Elric. He (like all the hero characters) has no depth to him and is just an awesome fighter.

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13 Nov 2019 10:49 #304180 by quozl
Replied by quozl on topic What BOOK(s) are you reading?
My curiosity got the best of me and I read the 2nd book of the Icewind Dale trilogy. It's much better than the first book. It's still not great as the heroes are still paper thin but at least there's compelling villains and some actual adversity this time, although two heroes that should have died didn't. The fan fiction is getting better. I'm going to read the 3rd book and then take a long break from Salvatore.

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18 Nov 2019 18:55 #304339 by quozl
Replied by quozl on topic What BOOK(s) are you reading?
I finished the 3rd book. It's dumb and it makes the 2nd book dumb too. So glad it's over.
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